Economics at your fingertips  

Ethnic Heterogeneity, Group Affinity, and State Higher Education Spending

John M. Foster () and Jacob Fowles ()
Additional contact information
John M. Foster: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Jacob Fowles: University of Kansas

Research in Higher Education, 2018, vol. 59, issue 1, 1-28

Abstract: Abstract A rich interdisciplinary literature exists exploring the determinants of state higher education funding policies. However, that work has collectively ignored an important finding from political economy literature: namely, that citizens’ preferences regarding public spending are strongly influenced by the state’s ethnic and racial context. Drawing on a unique panel of state-level data covering the years 1982–2009, we find that states demarcated by increased racial and ethnic diversity and eroding white majorities do tend to spend less on subsidies to public higher education, resulting in decreased state appropriations as well as more tepid support for financial aid programs. Critically, however, we find that the negative effects of increased ethnic and racial fractionalization can be mitigated—and in some circumstances, fully offset—by a high degree of positive social interaction between ethnic and racial groups. These results are discussed within the pragmatic context of continued state emphasis on degree attainment as a mechanism to foster economic growth as well as broader considerations about equality and social justice.

Keywords: Higher education finance; Politics of race; Redistribution; State higher education spending (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this article

Research in Higher Education is currently edited by Robert K. Toutkoushian

More articles in Research in Higher Education from Springer, Association for Institutional Research
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2019-04-09
Handle: RePEc:spr:reihed:v:59:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11162-017-9453-3